Another CCC-owned swimming pool in in danger of permanent closure and this time it is not the Council at fault.
CERA wants the Centennial Pool site for a children’s summer playground and won’t allow CCC repairs to go ahead. CERA would need to purchase the pool site with taxpayer money from the council to develop the site. Council says its hands are tied, CERA says it’s the council. Political football game anyone?
There is now no public swimming pool in the East following the loss of QEII, Waltham Pool and Centennial, not to mention the Edgeware Pool, whose demolition predated the earthquakes. This contrasts with the Western side of the city which has four pools open. The nearest swimming pool for St Albans residents above the paddling pool stage (Abberley Park plans to reopen this summer), is the Graham Condon Centre in Papanui, which is a bit of trek for anyone without a car.
It could be months, years before the Frame is finalised so is there a case for an interim use of the site? It will be at least four years before the planned sports facility complete with swimming pool open on the other side of the CBD. In the meantime a repairable facility, largely covered by insurance, is sitting idle.
Perhaps a decision will be made this week when the Minister of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee, meets with the Christchurch City Council on Friday afternoon to discuss the future of Centennial Pool. The Pool and Gym Complex is one of 1600 buildings for which the Council is responsible. Although the photographs on the Save Centennial website reveal little of any damage to the building, apparently more than $8 million needs to be spent.
Find out more about how to save the Centennial Pool at the Save Centennial website www.savecentennial.org.nz . Some interesting facts: A public campaign nearly 20 years ago saved the pool from being turned over to developers. Post February 2011 quake the pools provided a safe haven for Orion, whose nearby building was damaged, including boss at the time Roger Sutton, now head of CERA.
Source: Mostly from Save Centennial group